San Francisco—The Judicial Council of California will hold a special business meeting on Friday, July 22, 2011, to determine the allocation of an unprecedented $350 million in reductions to the judicial branch budget for fiscal year 2011–2012.  The public meeting is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Judicial Council Conference Center, Hiram Johnson State Office Building, Third Floor, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco.

Chaired by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the council is the administrative policymaking body of California courts.  The agenda and meeting materials are available on the California Courts website athttp://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/age20110722.pdf. A live audiocast of the meeting will be available athttp://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-jc.htm.

The agenda follows:

Allocation of Budget Reduction: The Trial Court Budget Working Group, in consultation with representatives of the appellate courts, will make recommendations for the allocation of $350 million in reductions to judicial branch entities.  The recommendation to the council will be to allocate reductions on a one-time basis in fiscal year 2011–2012.  These cuts amount to 9.7 percent of the adjusted annual operations budget for the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal, 6.8 percent for the trial courts, and 12 percent for the AOC and the Habeas Corpus Resource Center.

Trial Court Funding Allocations: The Trial Court Budget Working Group will make recommendations and options for allocating funds to the trial courts for fiscal year 2011–12.  The recommendations will include proposals to offset budget reductions by $124.2 million.  These offsets would include funding transfers from the Immediate and Critical Needs Account, the State Court Facilities Fund, Court Interpreter Savings from fiscal year 2009–2010, and savings from a one-year suspension of deployment activities for the California Court Case Management System.

Allocation of Special Funds Budgets: The Trial Court Budget Working Group will also make recommendations on fiscal year 2011–2012 allocations from three funds that support projects and programs for the trial courts: the Trial Court Improvement Fund, the Judicial Administration Efficiency and Modernization Fund, and the Trial Court Trust Fund.  The working group conducted a careful review of the projects and programs that rely on the special funds and have recommended adjustments to many of the programs.  A description of each of the programs and the impact of the recommended adjustments is included in the report to the council.

New Council Member: In addition, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye will administer the oath of office to Justice Judith Meisels Ashmann-Gerst, of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Two (Los Angeles). Justice Ashmann-Gerst was appointed to complete the term of Justice Richard D. Huffman, who resigned from the council effective June 30, 2011.  Her term expires September 14, 2012.

Public Comments: Due to the high level of interest in the judicial branch budget, one hour has been allotted for public comments—from 10:35 to 11:35 a.m. on Friday, July 22. Written comments emailed to JudicialCouncil@jud.a.gov, mailed, or delivered to the Judicial Council by midnight, July 21, 2011, will be distributed to council members at its meeting on Friday.  Mailed and delivered comments should be addressed to the Judicial Council of California, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California 94102, Attention: Nancy E. Spero. (Also see California Rules of Court, rule 10.6 (d) and 10.6(e).)

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